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Wayback Wednesday: International Cover Players

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at the history of international cover players for various basketball video games.

Cover players are an aspect of basketball gaming that has become more important over time. The player on the box and the title screen may not always have much of an impact on the game beyond pre-order cosmetic items in career modes and a card in the team building modes, but they’re nevertheless a talking point. After all, the reveal of the cover player generally signifies the beginning of a new game’s preview season, tipping off weeks and months of discussion about what we’re hoping to see from an upcoming release.

As basketball games have increased in popularity, cover players have become selling points and an indication of a game’s brand strength, if not necessarily its quality. Both EA Sports and 2K Sports have sought to appeal to local markets with regional covers that feature a player from the country in question (or in a pinch, have some connection with said nation). They’ve resulted in the international editions of games becoming collector’s items due to their novelty, and are of course interesting trivia notes. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K19 Screens: Donovan Mitchell, Kawhi Leonard, & DeMar DeRozan

NBA 2K19: Kawhi Leonard First Look

Not one, not two, but three new NBA 2K19 First Look screenshots were released today. Reigning Slam Dunk Champion Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz was revealed as the next member of Team 2K, while Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan – who have just been traded for each other – are also previewed wearing their new uniforms.

As with the previous screenshots, the initial Overall Ratings for the three players have also been revealed. Kawhi Leonard is rated 94 Overall, DeMar DeRozan 89 Overall, and Donovan Mitchell 87 Overall. For comparison, they were rated 95 Overall, 89 Overall, and 84 Overall respectively in the final official rosters for NBA 2K18.

Check out the screenshots below, as well as here in our NBA 2K19 gallery. What are your thoughts on the latest screenshots and Overall Ratings? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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